In 1981, John W. Melton developed the idea of a teapot festival to draw attention to Dr. Fredrick C. Freed's rare 500-piece collection of porcelain veilleuses-theieres. The festival has grown into a weeklong event beginning with the ceremonial lighting of the teapots and culminating in the annual grand parade.
Dr. Freed, a native of Trenton, amassed his collection during 40 years of searching antique shops around the world. He originally planned to present his 500 piece collection of antique teapots to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. They came to Trenton instead at the suggestion of Dr. Freed’s brother.
It begins with the lighting of the teapots ceremony at City Hall. Music and fireworks show highlight the first evening of the festival. Other highlights include a parade and chocolate extravaganza. Tennis and softball tournaments, along with other athletic competitions, are featured each day during the festival. An arts & crafts show, antique car exhibition, fireworks, display and street dance highlight the final day of the event. The teapots may be viewed all year round, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. When City Hall is closed, visitors ask the firemen next door to get the key for them.